Westminster fountain at sunset

by Jorge Córdoba

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Color is the human perception of light as having different hue, from reds and oranges, through yellows and greens, to blues and violets. Color is a fundamental aspect of the arts and photography.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

68
votes
6answers
12k views

Do fluorescent lighting and shutter speed create a problem with color cast?

I took a bunch of photos at my son's martial arts club using a D90 with a 50mm F1.8. The club is lit with overhead fluorescent lighting, and I was getting some weird results where some shots are ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “white balance”?

I would like to understand the term white balance. My camera has settings for white balance with the following options: Auto white balance Daylight Cloudy Shade Flash Incandescent lights White set1 ...
30
votes
6answers
2k views

How can knowledge of human perception of color be used in photography?

How does the human vision system perceive color, and how can/should this be taken into account when taking and post-processing photographs (both in color and in black and white)? The bit above is ...
30
votes
8answers
7k views

What's the difference between Adobe RGB and sRGB and which should I set in my camera?

In my Canon 60D, there's a setting between Adobe RGB and sRGB. What's the difference and what should I prefer when shooting to RAW ?
14
votes
9answers
14k views

Why is Aperture changing the color of my RAW photos?

For some strange reason, Aperture 3 seems to shift the colors of the raw images, after importing them. For example, the reds become washed out and something not red. In the following example, the red ...
15
votes
3answers
935 views

How do color spaces like sRGB and Adobe RGB overlap?

Is sRGB included in Adobe RGB, and Adobe RGB included in ProPhoto RGB? Meaning that a photo in a "lower space" will look like exactly the same in a "higher space", e.g. a sRGB photo will look like ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do bright red flowers end up without details?

With our DSLR, indoor flowers come out detailed. Outdoor violet and blue flowers are detailed, too. But outdoor bright red flowers give us problems. They come out as a single flat detail-less spot. ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is the blue channel the noisiest?

It is widely observed that the blue channel in digital cameras is the noisiest. I've certainly noticed that with my camera. Why is this? Is it an artifact of some particular technology (e.g. Bayer ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I fix the color of blue photos using settings from “good” photos?

Imagine how photos with a bad blue filter look. I can recolor those pictures with the color filters from any image manipulation program like gimp. Now my question is: can I "grab" the right settings ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How does the colour of ambient lighting affect colour rendition?

How does the colour of ambient lighting affect colour rendition? For example: If I stand under a sodium-vapour (orange) streetlight and calibrate my camera's white balance, what effect would this ...
7
votes
4answers
9k views

Does Gimp have a Match Color function similar to that in Adobe Photoshop?

In a recent question, Steve Ross points out that Adobe Photoshop has a useful feature for matching color between photographs. Of course, color adjustment can be accomplished in Gimp with careful use ...
24
votes
2answers
5k views

What do Hue, Chroma, Saturation, Value, Tones, Tints, Shade, etc. mean?

I've read several online tutorials about color theory but I'm still confused about how to "visually" catch color concepts and use them efficiently. The only thing I seem to understand is "hue" which ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the Zone System useful with a DSLR?

The Zone System was originally used with B&W film photography. With colour digital photography, though, couldn't you get much the same results by keeping an eye on the histogram? I think I might ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Are there written guides or rules of thumb for setting color saturation, clarity, vibrance, etc. in post-processing (or in general)?

This isn't another "how do I get a picture to look like such-and-such-link-inserted-here in LR" question. There's a saturation (no pun intended) of these questions here. Interesting, but not general ...
3
votes
1answer
408 views

What is the photopic luminous efficiency function?

What is the photopic luminous efficiency function? Is it actually a the, or are there multiple such functions? Is it an absolute fact of nature or simply an agreed-on standard? If the later, who ...
7
votes
1answer
331 views

What is Colour Rendering Index (CRI)?

From this answer on white balancing a LED light I understood there's a thing called Colour Rendering Index (CRI). I understand it has something to do with how well lights reproduce the sun's colour ...
19
votes
4answers
7k views

Is there an equivalent to Adobe's “Vibrance” in Gimp?

See: What's the difference between saturation and vibrance in Lightroom? In a nutshell, Adobe's Vibrance is a "smart" color adjustment that increases saturation selectively, leaving skin tones ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I achieve a vintage photo effect in Photoshop?

How can I achieve this vintage color tone in Photoshop? Photo link
17
votes
5answers
21k views

How many colors and shades can the human eye distinguish in a single scene?

How many distinct colors, shades, hues, and tints can the average person distinguish in a single scene? In other words, what's the theoretical bit-depth required to be sure of recording a photograph ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What sort of color correction and effects are used in this photo?

I've seen plenty of photos like this before and I've always liked them. They're usually warmer colours and they seem to have a bit of a haze to them. Photo by David Guenther What sort of post ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Are RGB numeric values equal to CMYK percentages?

are RGB numeric values equal to CMYK percentages?
3
votes
2answers
569 views

Are color and tones in this seascape fine?

Just about color and toning — is it right or could it be better? (In that case please specify Lightroom or Photoshop actions to perform.) I feel it is a bit too dark (it really seems like if there ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

What steps to take to match screen to print?

I don't print a TON of my photos, but when I do it's because it's really important to me. I've got a MacBook Pro attached to a Samsung 2300 display and an HP Photosmart 7760 printer. I typically use ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

How is the YCbCr encoding useful for representing grayscale images?

I am curious about the YCbCr color model for representing grayscale images. Can someone provide a detailed explanation of how image data is encoded as YCbCr, when it might be used over another ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the function of the tint slider in Lightroom?

In Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (c) there's a Temp slider which controls the color temperature of the photo. To the left it creates a blue, cold looking image. To the right, an orange, warm image. This ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

Do differences in color saturation across Nikon and Canon pictures matter?

I am about to buy a new DSLR and shortlisted the two models, Nikon D5100 and Canon 550D. From the pics that I have seen on Flickr it seems that Nikon pics have more saturated color than Canon. Is it ...
3
votes
4answers
332 views

How does one do light painting with in focus subject? Maybe a composite?

I understand and have tried some rudimentary light painting, but I'm still not sure how one might achieve something like the photos here: http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/18221422 Is this ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Do lenses affect color fidelity?

It seems to me that my costlier (Tamron 90 f/2.8 macro) lens gives better colors than my cheap Canon 18-55 IS kit lens. So does lens matter for color quality? What physical processes are involved in ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I fix a blue colour cast from my Canon i9950 printer?

I have a Canon i9950 with an aftermarket CISS. It used to be fine, but having not used it for a while over Christmas, now all my prints are coming out with a horrible blue cast. I have checked that ...
21
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I get good colors when taking pictures in the city at night?

I'm very interested in doing night time shootings. I'm using Canon 5d3 with 85mm at f/1.2, and at iso 2000 I'm able to get exposure times around 1/150s-1/200s. However, the lighting in my city ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I get this “Washed out” effect for street photography?

I was browsing an unrelated question here and noticed this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparth/5730541580/lightbox/ I've seen countless street-photography shots with this kind of color effect ...
17
votes
3answers
781 views

How much of a difference do different color spaces make?

How much of a difference does it make to use one of the extended colorspaces vs. the normal sRGB? And what difference does it make? Are there situations where it is not important, and conversely are ...
13
votes
3answers
655 views

How would I go about using my SLR to measure the 'greenness' of a photo?

Background My digital pictures can be read into a computer program like Matlab or R as a m x n x 3 matrix where m x n is the number of pixels observed by each of the three (red, green, and blue) ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What's the difference between colour space and bit depth?

I know that there are different types of colour space and that sRGB is the most common. Bit depth defines the variations of a colour channel, where (I think) 8 and/or 16 bits are the most common. ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

How do pros manage to make the color green so bright in their nature photographs?

I am an amateur photographer, I had a question how do professional photographers manage to make the green color so bright in their images. For example: ...
11
votes
1answer
348 views

Why are the red light and its hood in my image colored different than they were in reality?

I took this image in a train station with shutter speed 1/8 second and AV mode, the aperture was chosen to be 4.5. The problem in the colors of the spotlight in the right corner of the image. In the ...
10
votes
4answers
892 views

Why does the red area in this photo look very un-natural?

I was looking through some photos I took at RAF Cosford a few weeks ago, and noticed this big red area (it's a large door surround on the floor below) In the photoshop RAW preview, it looked almost ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do my photos looked washed out when using my telephoto lens?

I own an aging Nikon D40 and recently picked up a new telephoto lens: the Nikkor 55mm-300mm f/4.5-5.6. I've noticed that when I zoom in on subjects, the color in my photos often looks washed out. Here ...
8
votes
2answers
903 views

Why are sensors less sensitive to blue light?

This is a followup question to Why is the blue channel the noisiest?. The simple answer to that question is that sensors are less sensitive to blue, and therefore require more amplification, which ...
6
votes
3answers
844 views

How to make the colors of an image taken under diffuse midday light more lively?

I took some macro shots of flowers in a greenhouse. I did it around midday in January, and the ceiling of the greenhouse was matted glass, so I got very diffuse light. Even in images which are exposed ...
5
votes
1answer
539 views

How to figure out whether the colours in a photo are warm or cool, and how does that matter?

On 1x some people have said that this picture has warm colours. I wish to understand what qualifies to be a warm colour, cool colour, and how does that matter? Warm means bright? and Cool means ...
5
votes
2answers
943 views

Why are red objects coming out unnaturally in my photographs?

I have observed lately during my shoots that when I try to capture a red object with hardly anything in the background, the color doesnt seem to come exactly as what it is in reality. With flash or ...
3
votes
3answers
416 views

How can this lighting/color effect be done?

The foreground is color (although very low contrast), and the background appears to be B&W. Can this be done during shoting, or only during post-processing? I notice there is a greenish/bluish ...
2
votes
2answers
365 views

Can the camera select wrong exposure just because of color?

I took two pictures of two different flowers with portrait setting. One came perfectly exposed with dark background, the other seems over exposed with brighter background. I tried it again and the ...
26
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it possible to be color-blind and still be a good photographer?

Is it possible to be colour-blind (or color-blind, in the US) and still be a good photographer? Are there any steps one can take to mitigate the effects of colour-blindness? Can you point me to any ...
17
votes
2answers
810 views

Why do I see this yellow color shift at high ISOs and fast shutter speeds? [duplicate]

I recently purchased a full-frame DSLR with a reported highest ISO of 204,800. I’m intrigued by the possibilities of the high ISO range and how far Lightroom and Aperture (I use each of them) can ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Why not use a camera as a colorimeter?

Clearly to achieve reliable results, it is essential to calibrate key parts of the imaging pipeline - particularly the computer display on which images are edited. Few seem to question the ...
6
votes
3answers
688 views

What do the measurements for colour depth mean?

Colour depth is often referred to as being X bits. What does this mean and how does it effect a photograph? What scale is used, i.e. is it linear, exponential, logarithmic, etc.?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

RAWs looking massively different in Aperture/Mac OS Preview compared to camera preview and (Canon) PictureStyleEditor

Yesterday, I have been shooting photos at a christmas market -- especially a band that played there. Since everything happened in the evening and it was quite dark, I thought using RAW instead of JPEG ...
5
votes
2answers
451 views

How can I evaluate the colour accuracy of my photos?

I have noticed that the colours in my photos are quite dependant on the medium on which I am viewing them — the camera LCD, computer monitor, TV, digital photo frame and print. So, something that ...